Planning Your Special English Program:  Application, Deadlines, and Fees

Our International Programs team is happy to work with you to plan a program that will best suit the needs of your sponsoring organization and students.  It often takes a great deal of time to discuss, plan, and negotiate the details of a Special English Program, so early planning is essential. In order to prepare and guarantee a quality program, program requests and payments must be made well in advance.

The steps below outline the typical planning process, including deadlines for standard programs. Deadlines for more complex programs and for groups requiring student visas may be considerably earlier. The International Programs team will inform you of any special deadlines.


The process typically begins with the sponsoring organization contacting our International Programs team by email, phone call, or visit, followed by submitting a Custom Program GROUP APPLICATION FORM, which requests details of the proposed program, including proposed dates, number of program days and hours, estimated number of students, type of curriculum, any special services or activities.  Our team will make every attempt to respond to inquiries and applications in a timely fashion.
Initial inquiry should be made more than three (3) months prior to 1st day of requested program. Deadline for formal request, i.e., Group Application: Three (3) months prior to 1st day of requested program. (Please note that we will try to accommodate “emergency” requests when possible.  See “Late Fee” note below.)


The International Programs team will then check the feasibility of the program, and propose alternatives if there are any difficulties.  Once the dates, hours, and program components are agreed upon, we will send a cost estimate and tentative program schedule, along with a filled out Group Registration Form, which outlines the planned program, the program fee, and our policies and procedures.  If acceptable, the sponsor is asked to SIGN the form, indicating agreement with the contents of the form.  This form is faxed back to our office, and the original mailed.  At the same time, a non-refundable deposit is due (usually 15% or more of the total fee).  Please note that we cannot guarantee a program until the signed original Group Registration Form and the non-refundable deposit are received.
Group Registration Form and Deposit Deadline: Two (2) months prior to 1st day of program


Our staff begin making initial program preparations. 


In order to finalize program arrangements, the remaining fees AND a participant name list are needed.

Deadline:  One (1) month prior to 1st day of program


Program fees are determined by the number of instructional hours and classes, program features/content, and number of participants.  Special English Program fees are based on the NUMBER OF CLASSES, with a maximum of 15 students per class.  Any customized Special English Program fees are based on the SIZE OF THE GROUP and the TYPE of customization.  We may need to limit class size depending on the program content.  Because the possibilities for Special English Program customization are endless, please contact the International Programs team to request fee information.

Non-refundabe Deposits:
Usually 15% of the total fee, and due two (2) months prior to the start of the program.

Balance of the Total Fee:
Due one (1) month prior to the start of the program.

Change Fees:
Because of the staff time involved in making changes once certain arrangements have been made, it may be necessary to charge a fee for any changes requested after the Group Registration Form is signed. Change fees are usually $10 per person per change, plus any costs incurred by the university thus far.  This fee may be waived depending upon the circumstances.

Late Fees:
If a program is requested later than three months prior to the start date, OR if required documents and fees are not received by the deadlines, we may find it necessary to either cancel the program or charge a Late Fee in order to expedite the program.  Late Fees are usually 10% of the program fee, but are sometimes waived depending on the circumstances. 

Cancellations and Refunds:
Notification of program or participant cancellations must be received in writing by the International Programs office no later than 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the program. We will refund an amount equal to the total program fee LESS the non-refundable deposit and any expenses, surcharges, or transaction fees incurred by the university up to the date of receipt of the written cancellation notice. No refunds will be given for any cancellations made within 30 calendar days prior to the first day of the program for partial refunds.

Special Services for Groups

Group accommodations, transportation, and extra-curricular activities are an important part of the Special English Program experience. Some group sponsors make housing, meal, bus, and special activity arrangements on their own. Some enlist the assistance of a travel agent. Others request that the International Programs office handle these arrangements.

For additional cost and with adequate advanced planning, the International Programs staff is happy to make the following arrangements:

  1. airport pick-up and drop-off
  2. housing and meals (dormitories, hotels, homestays)
  3. extra-curricular activities (view some popular Sights to See on Oahu)

Please contact our International Programs team to request more information.

Visa Requirements for Custom Programs

Special English Programs that are only a few hours in length are considered “incidental” to the participantsʻ visit. Participants may enter the country on a tourist (B-2) visa or through the W.T. visa waiver program.

Lengthy Special English Programs may require student (F-1) visas. Our International Programs office can issue the Form I-20 if it is necessary to obtain an F-1 visa. Note that additional fees and earlier deadlines apply. Please email us for more information.